Some neat stuff happening ont he Strip. This is my top 50 fun facts about CC.
50. Circus Circus opened on October 18, 1968… meaning this coming October will mark its 50th year of continuous operation!
49. Jay Sarno was the original owner/operator of Circus Circus. Just two years prior Sarno successfully opened Caesar’s Palace.
48. Both Sarno’s concepts- Caesar’s Palace and Circus Circus have remarkably stood the test of time and multiple changes in ownership. Today Caesar’s Palace is the namesake of the larger brand Caesar’s Entertainment, Inc., while Circus Circus is part of MGM Resorts.
47. Sarno’s original plan for Circus was a ROMAN Circus concept to be built in a lot next to Caesar’s. However, plans would change. Acquiring a lot further north, Sarno decided that the concept would be a “Circus Circus” or traditional family style circus, which is how “Circus Circus” earned its name.
46. Circus Circus opened as a casino. No towers. No rooms. Just fun.
45. The Grand Opening of Circus Circus was so highly anticipated it was broadcast nation-wide on The Ed Sullivan show.
44. In the early days of Circus Circus, “Tanya the Elephant” entertained the masses. She even threw dice and made a cameo appearance in the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever.”
43. While Circus Circus is widely known for its family entertainment, early on the casino stage featured topless showgirls, in a show called “Nudes in the Night.”
42. Circus Circus no longer has a showroom, but used to have two theaters: a large theater called “The Hippodrome” and a smaller theater called “The Gilded Cage.” Both showrooms were in the area that is now the Circus Buffet.
41. Long before the Bellagio Fountains, Circus Circus featured an indoor show called “Dancing Water,” a choreographed show of lighted water fountains set to music.
40. As if elephants and acrobats weren’t enough, in the early 70s Circus Circus also featured a “Japanese Bath” complete with geishas and steam room.
39. Even Circus Circus had some mob ties… Anthony Spilotro operated a small jewelry and souvenir shop within Circus Circus in the early 70s.
38. Four years into its operation, Circus Circus adds its first tower: 15 Stories house 400 rooms.
37. In 1974 Jay Sarno leases Circus Circus to William Bennett who quickly determines that Sarno’s concept is best adapted for the casual gambler, as serious gamblers won’t tolerate too much distraction. Bennett eliminates extreme and fringe style entertainment acts, and reduces high limit games. He is successful.
36. The Circus Circus concept is so successful that in 1978 a second location is opened in Reno, NV. Unlike Circus Circus Vegas, the Reno location opens as a resort.
35. Circus Circus boasts the Strip’s only RV Park, which opened in 1979 with its own jacuzzi, swimming pools, laundromat, and arcade.
34. Slots of Fun, the one-story-casino directly south, is acquired by Circus Circus in 1979. The two continue to operate as one today, with Slots of Fun keeping most of its historic exterior.
33. The early 80s saw mass renovation to the building’s exterior: a grand entry remodel and the addition of the “Sky Shuttle.” The shuttle provided guests of the Circus Circus Manor speedy access to the Casino lobby and at max capacity could carry 1200 passengers per hour.
32. While erected in 1976, its not until 1982 that the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes “Lucky the Clown” as world’s largest sign. The sign is in the location that once housed the Circus Carousel. It was designed by the Young Electric Sign Company.
31. In 1982, Circus Circus adds “THE Steakhouse.” THE Steakhouse continues to top “Best Of Vegas” awards even today.
30. In 1986, with over 100,000 square feet of casino space, Circus Circus was once the largest casino in the world.
29. In 1993, Circus Circus expanded once again with the addition of Vegas’ first amusement park. Grand Slam Canyon is now known as “The Adventuredome.”
28. The Adventuredome features 8,615 pink glass panels each weighing 300lbs.